Training to be a family mediator
The information below explains how someone can become a family mediator. It is a very basic guide and more information can be found on the Family Mediation Council website.
Direct Mediation Services has a commitment to supporting trainee mediators and we support two a year. The reason why we don’t do more is because of the time we invest in mentoring trainees in becoming independent and confident family mediation professionals.
The mediator pathway
Step 1 – Foundation Course
The initial step for someone wanting to become a family mediator is to be accepted on and attend a foundation training course, which is approved by the Family Mediation Council (FMC). You can find these courses by clicking here. They vary in price and delivery method i.e., online learning, so do shop around to see which would suit you best.
Step 2 – Register with the Family Mediation Council
Once you have successfully completed your foundation course and received the certificate from your training provider, you can then register with the Family Mediation Council, as a trainee mediator working towards accreditation.
You will also need to find yourself a Professional Practice Consultant (PPC). This person is someone experienced in family mediation and who will provide you guidance as you develop your skills. Your FMC membership requires you to always have a PPC, even when you have become accredited. The minimum number of supervision meetings is four per year and they usually cost £120 per hour. DMS has a number of PPCs who have capacity to take on new mediators.
Another requirement is to become a member of an FMC member organisation. There are five organisations: 1) College of Mediators; 2) National Family Mediation; 3) Family Mediation Association; 4) Resolution; 5) The Law Society. The cost of annual membership is around £200.
At this stage of your mediation journey, you can do private family mediation work, but would not be able to sign any forms for court. Also, you would not be able to undertake any family mediation funded by the Legal Aid Agency unless accompanied by an FMC accredited mediator.
Step 3 – The Portfolio
To become an accredited family mediator, you need to put together your portfolio. This is a big piece of work and it can be compared to a university dissertation. A lot of the portfolio is reflecting on the cases that you co-mediate on. Getting the cases can be difficult and that is why many people ask for a training contract. As mentioned, DMS offers two contracts per year and this is subject to an interview and a mock mediation. There is no charge for this service, but you would be contracted for two years post accreditation to work solely with DMS on any Legal Aid cases that you may acquire via your work. The other route available is a “pay as you go” situation. However, we still insist on an interview and mock mediation, as you will be working with our clients. If you are successful there is an admin charge of £250 per year, which covers one of our admin team dealing with your requests to place you with one of our accredited mediators on cases. The subsequent charges are follows (these fees go to the mediator – there is no profit to DMS):
Observation of a MIAM or mediation (1 hour) £30
Co-mediations MIAM or mediation session (1 hour) £40
Formal observation for portfolio (1 hour + write up of report) £240
Once you have completed your portfolio, you can submit to the Family Mediation Council. Your results usually come through in 3 months, but this timeframe can vary. It is best to seek clarification from the FMC.
Trainee Mediator Testimonial – Yvette Fidler
Working with Stuart during whilst building my portfolio has given me great experience and really helped with my confidence. Stuart has been very encouraging, positive and supportive over the years. He has worked with me in a very trusting and open way. He has always been available for questions and support, but has empowered and trusted me to get on with things myself.
It is not intimidating to co-mediate with Stuart, he has a light, friendly and inclusive approach. Even when he was just observing me I didn’t feel under too much pressure. It was more like having a great driving instructor, a pair of safe hands looking out for me.
Direct Mediation Services have built up systems to support the mediation process and make it more efficient, they are constantly innovating and using feedback to improve things. They invest in people and support structures to create community and connection.
Thank you, Stuart and Dorian, for all the support and guidance. Stuart, I genuinely wouldn’t have got this far without your support.
If you are interested in training with DMS, please get in touch by completing the form below.
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